“DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND.”
— ROMANS 12:2
What is a DNA Group?
The term “DNA group” refers to a group that ideally consists of three to four people — men with men, women with women — who meet together weekly. They seek to be known and to bring the gospel to bear on each other’s lives so that they grow to become more like Jesus.
DNA Groups provide a structure for us to care deeply for one another and to foster growth as disciples of Jesus.
DNA is an acronym that reminds of us three key components of discipleship: Discover, Nurture, and Act. The goal is to help one another to discover Jesus in the Scriptures, nurture the truths of the gospel in our hearts, and faithfully act on what the Spirit calls us to do.
Our DNA group should be a major factor in our growth as a disciple (someone who is learning to apply the gospel to absolutely every part of life).
WHY SHOULD I BE IN A DNA GROUP?
As disciples who’ve been saved and made righteous, Paul exhorts us to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12:2). Discipleship requires life-on-life interaction, and can only happen in community. We grow primarily through the experience of life in gospel community. A DNA group can be a key catalyst for growth and transformation in our lives.
One of the main ways this happens is by giving each other regular reminders of the truth of the gospel. Hebrews 3:12 warns, “Take care, brothers and sisters, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” We are often tempted to forget who God is, what He’s done for us in Christ Jesus, who we are as a result, and how we live out of our new identity. Hebrews 3:13 says one of the major ways to prevent this “falling away from the living God” is to “encourage one another daily...so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Every single day we need to be encouraged with the truth that we are deeply loved and accepted by the Father purely on the basis of what Jesus has done! Our new identity as sons and daughters of God shapes everything about our life as disciples of Jesus. Understanding this new identity also gives us the boldness and humility to be honest with our DNA partners when we are tempted to hide our sin or to blame others. Regular encouragement from our DNA partners can be a significant help in our battle against sin and against the lies of the enemy.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF A DNA GROUP?
The overall goal of a DNA group is to foster discipleship relationships that help each person grow to become more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. The goal is not merely to hang out and have fun, or even to build friendships, though hopefully all of that will happen! The goal is to challenge one another to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
As disciples, we should experience transformation at every level, affecting our whole person: head, heart, hands. The specific discipleship goals for a DNA group meeting can be understood by unpacking the acronym:
- Discover: Led by the Holy Spirit, the group will study the Bible and ask 4 Questions.
- Who is God?
- What has God done?
- Who am I in light of that?
- What do I do?
- Nurture: Led by the Holy Spirit, the group will repent and believe in the gospel. The goal is to shepherd the heart.
- Act: Led by the Holy Spirit, the group will listen and obey as he calls us to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. The goal is to empower the hands.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A DNA GROUP?
The members of a DNA group should be committed to meeting together regularly, usually for about 90 minutes. These meetings consist of sharing personal stories and struggles, asking questions, listening to each other, reading scripture, praying, speaking the truth in love, repenting and confessing sin, and listening to the Holy Spirit, and submitting to one another. Beyond the weekly meeting, however, DNA groups should seek to build trusting relationships by sharing everyday life together.